I am back from touring some tourist sites in Ilorin, Kwara state.
With the company of some staff of NIHOTOUR (National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism) guess what? I had loads and loads of fun…
We converged at the (NRC) Nigerian Railway Corporation, Lagos Terminus, Iddo, Ebute Metta, Lagos for a train experience.
My Train Experience
Sounds cliche but I must say, it was my first time on a train (first class cabin) in Nigeria and was a very nice experience. The train has the first class cabin, the second class cabin, a bar and kitchen cabin, and the regular cabin. The first and second class cabin is AC fitted with bulletproof glass.
The price for the train ride was N1,010 (One thousand and ten naira only) but the hours spent on the train was quite expensive, over 15.50 hours to get to Ilorin from Lagos with over 5 stopovers, part of the experience, right? however, the fun and excitement we had with the passengers on board didn’t even make us realize the effect of the time spent.
Shortly before we boarded, I was trying to take a selfie and a lady hawking wares thought I wanted to take a snapshot of her then she struck a pose with her wares, I figured, aha! wait, madam, I will take your photograph after my selfie and she obliged. She was very excited, she told me her name is “Iya Gala”. I like her spirit, it’s the tourism spirit to ignite passion in the minds of people. She was full of smiles and full of life.
The Tourism “Fever”.
Apparently, we were fourteen tourists on the train while there were other passengers on board. The train left about 12:30 pm.
Subsequently, there were stopovers at almost every train station and we infected the other passengers with our jokes, our songs and dance and chants of merriment that it eventually turned to a circus where all the passengers on board joined in the merriment.
It was the Nigerian dream, we are passengers from various tribes, coming together to sing, dance and interact, tourism unites!
The Train that once lived
I, with my curiosity, took a tour on the train to see how each cabin looked like and I saw a train that once lived and still living on its past glory.
The other coaches asides the first class and second class is a shadow of our ages past.
The bar and kitchen?, Oh, the bar had drinks and music to offer, I stopped by with my tour friends to have few drinks and grabbed a plate of food. Yam and egg! very tasty.
I left after dishing some dance steps at the bar.
We arrived Ilorin train station at exactly 4.30 am the next day and it was hard to say goodbye to the ‘new friends’ we met on the train.
As I alighted, I felt a brush of cold, dry air swept through my face, it was there I figured, the adventures had already begun…